In south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, the mood of the voters on Sunday’s municipal election was that of anger and disillusionment. The area, which emerged as the dengue, chikungunya hotbed of the city reporting maximum deaths last year, is still facing neglect.
Despite the fact that the civic agency failed to ensure sanitation and check growth of mosquitoes, a large number of people came out to vote. However, most people HT spoke to, were angry with the continued neglect by both the municipal corporation and the Delhi government.
“Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has promised to rid Delhi of dengue and chikungunya if AAP wins MCD polls.Will we get justice only if we vote for him? The BJP runs the MCDs and we have seen their work last year. Dengue was bred in Jamia Nagar because the MCD did not do their work. We do not know what to do. We will be neglected by whoever comes to power again,” said Amir Hussain, a resident of Batla House.
Though the official figure for dengue and chikungunya deaths in Jamia Nagar, according to MCD records, is less than 10, there were over 70 suspected deaths in this part of south east Delhi. Sameer Khan, a social worker told HT, “We do not know who will win the election but what we do know is that people are angry with the municipality. There is filth everywhere across Jamia Nagar and Okhla.”
A resident said MCD’s failure to provide sanitation -- one of the most important responsibilities of the civic body -- is evident from the insanitary conditions at Jamia Nagar’s Shaheen Bagh and Abu Fazal Enclave areas, which are situated on the banks of the Yamuna.
“Try standing in the open. The mosquitoes will not let you stand for even a minute. There is no impact of Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat campaign here. One can see carcass of stray dogs lying around almost every day. The Swachh Bharat campaign has failed here,” the resident said, while returning from a polling booth.
Asim Khan said his 14-year-old nephew died of dengue last year. He said the teenager died within three days of being admitted to the hospital. “I am worried more people will die this year. My nephew returned after writing his exams. He had high fever and had to be admitted to the hospital,” Khan said.
“This year is no different. Mosquitoes are breeding everywhere in our colony and we are worried that the vector-borne disease might spread again,” he said.